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Full text of "Shipping Practice"

LIMITATION OF SHIPOWNER S LIABILITY               19

Where any liability is alleged to have been incurred by
the owner of a British or foreign ship in respect of loss of
life, personal injury, or loss of or damage to vessels or
goods, and several claims are made or apprehended in res-
pect of that liability, then the owner may apply to the
High Court to determine the amount of the owner's lia-
bility and may distribute that amount rateably among the
several claimants, and may stay any proceedings pending
in any other court in relation to the same matter, and
may proceed in such manner and subject to such regula-
tions as to making persons interested parties to the proceed-
ings, and as to the exclusion of any claimants who do not
come in within a certain time, and as to requiring security
from the owner, and as to payment of any costs as the
court thinks just.

A shipowner may, of course, waive his rights under the
statute by special contract.

It may be observed that the usual course when seeking
limitation of liability is for the shipowner to pay the sum
of 1,000 or 3,000 gold francs per ton, as the case may be,
into Court, and to ask for a decree limiting his liability to
that amount.